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Surrey Personal Injury Lawyers Explain ICBC Income Loss Claims

Surrey Personal Injury Lawyers Explain ICBC Income Loss Claims

Our Vancouver, Kelowna, Fort St John and Surrey ICBC Claim Lawyers only represent clients like you. We never act for ICBC. Our experienced lawyers in Surrey, Vancouver, Kelowna and Fort St John will work tirelessly for you from the minute you hire us.

Call us for a free consultation at 604-576-5400, toll free at 1.877.602.990, or simply click here.

Why Choose MacLean Personal Injury?

Our senior Surrey and BC personal injury legal team always take the time to listen to you. Our Vancouver, Kelowna, Fort St John, and Surrey personal injury lawyers explain ICBC income loss claims and all other possible car injury claims you might have in simple language that is easy to understand. Our goal is to maximize your ICBC personal injury and wage and income loss settlements. Our team of lawyers are also fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin, Farsi and Cantonese.

  • A key component of any large ICBC personal injury settlement or award involves the proper calculation of past and future wage and income loss together with any loss of opportunity for the injured party.
  • It’s important that you consult with a skilled and experienced BC personal injury lawyer on this issue. This is very important since ICBC will do everything they can to minimize your settlement. We act on your behalf to maximize your settlement. How you present your personal injury wage loss claim is critical to a large award. We have the experience you need to succeed.
  • Our senior Surrey personal injury and British Columbia ICBC car accident claim department can be reached at 604-576-5400. You can have a free consultation with our legal team at any of our four offices in Surrey, Vancouver, Fort St. John, or West Kelowna.

What Are Wage and Income Loss Claims?

If you miss work as a result of a pedestrian, motorcycle, or truck or car accident you will usually be entitled to receive money as part of your settlement to make up for work and wages that you have missed as a result of the accident or injury.

There are two types of compensation available. Wages and work you lost between the date of the accident and the date of trial is called “past wage loss”, and money you are entitled to receive because you can no longer earn income at the same or better level than what you had to begin with is called “loss of earning capacity”.

How Large Will My Lost Wages And Loss Of Income Award Be?

Normally the calculation of lost wages is straight forward. The calculation of “loss of earning capacity,” on the other hand, can be quite complex since it requires the Court to what “might have been,” had the accident never occurred. Would you have been promoted? Maybe you were about to change careers and now that particular career choice isn’t an option? Things become even more complicated when the victim of the pedestrian, truck, car, or motorcycle accident is fairly young, for instance in their teens or even twenties. Perhaps you were only just starting your career?

We recommend that you do not attempt to settle a complex wage loss or loss of earning capacity claim without a skilled MacLean Personal Injury lawyer advocating for your best interests.

The May 2013 Court decision in Rahim v. Al Jundi, provides a good summary of the law on this complex area, and we have provided the key excerpts below. As you will see, the methods, and even the language used to describe the methods can be fairly complicated, (but thankfully the friendly and skilled lawyers at MacLean Personal Injury are here to help you. We are happy to meet with you for a FREE initial consultation so that we can answer your questions with a simple, straight forward, answers.)

Loss of Income Earning Capacity

[186] The BC Court of Appeal in Kwei v. Boisclair (1991), 60 B.C.L.R. (2d) 393 (C.A.) reviewed the framework for assessing loss of income earning capacity at para. 25.

The means by which the value of the lost, or impaired, asset is to be assessed varies of course from case to case. Some of the considerations to take into account in making that assessment include whether:

1. The plaintiff has been rendered less capable overall from earning income from all types of employment;

2. the plaintiff is less marketable or attractive as an employee to potential employers;

3. the plaintiff has lost the ability to take advantage of all job opportunities which might otherwise have been open to him, had he not been injured; and

4. The plaintiff is less valuable to himself as a person capable of earning income in a competitive labour market.

[189] In Peren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140, the Court of Appeal held at para. 12:

[12] These cases, Steenblok, Brown, and Kwei, illustrate the two (both correct) approaches to the assessment of future loss of earning capacity. One is what was later called by Finch J.A. in Pallos the ‘real possibility’ approach. Such an approach may be appropriate where a demonstrated pecuniary loss is quantifiable in a measurable way; however, even where the loss is assessable in a measurable way (as it was in Steenblok), it remains a loss of capacity that is being compensated.

The other approach is more appropriate where the loss, though proven, is not measurable in a pecuniary way. An obvious example of the Brown approach is a young person whose career path is uncertain. In my view, the cases that follow do not alter these basic propositions I have mentioned. Nor do I consider that these cases illustrate an inconsistency in the jurisprudence on the question of proof of future loss of earning capacity.

[190] In the apt words of Huddart J.A. in Rosvold v. Dunlop, at para. 9:

[9] Because damage awards are made as lump sums, an award for loss of future earning capacity must deal to some extent with the unknowable. The standard of proof to be applied when evaluating hypothetical events that may affect an award is simple probability, not the balance of probabilities: Athey v. Leonati, [1996] 3 S.C.R. 458. Possibilities and probabilities, chances, opportunities, and risks must all be considered, so long as they are a real and substantial possibility and not mere speculation.

[191] Additionally, as noted by defence counsel, there must be a comparison between what the plaintiff would probably have earned to what he will earn post-accident: Milina v. Bartsch (1985), 49 B.C.L.R. (2d) 33 (S.C.).

[192] As well, there must be a consideration of the overall fairness of an award. In Parker v. Lemmon, 2012 BCSC 27, Savage J. summarized the steps and the ultimate approach to be considered at para. 42:

[42] The approach to such claims is well set out in the decision of Garson J.A. in Perren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140 at paras. 25-32, which I summarize as follows:

(1) A plaintiff must first prove there is a real and substantial possibility of a future event leading to an income loss before the Court will embark on an assessment of the loss;

(2) A future or hypothetical possibility will be taken into consideration as long as it is a real and substantial possibility and not mere speculation;

(3) A plaintiff may be able to prove that there is a substantial possibility of a future income loss despite having returned to his or her employment;

(4) An inability to perform an occupation that is not a realistic alternative occupation is not proof of a future loss;

(5) It is not the loss of earnings but rather the loss of earning capacity for which compensation must be made;

(6) If the plaintiff discharges the burden of proof, then there must be quantification of that loss;

(7) Two available methods of quantifying the loss are (a) an earnings approach or (b) a capital asset approach;

(8) An earnings approach will be more useful when the loss is more easily measurable;

(9) The capital asset approach will be more useful when the loss is not easily measurable.

You can see that the proper calculation of your wage loss, income loss, and loss of opportunity is a very complex job. This complex task normally requires the assistance of a skilled and experienced ICBC personal injury lawyer. Our Vancouver, Kelowna, Fort St John and Surrey ICBC personal injury lawyers know how to maximize your claim by presenting your evidence in a compelling and forceful fashion.

We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to negotiate your claim by yourself. ICBC will likely use a lawyer to negotiate with you. Shouldn’t you have a skilled Vancouver, Kelowna, Fort St John or Surrey personal injury lawyer on your side? Contact us now to get the help you need.



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